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Employee Use Demands Mobile Device Management


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September 08, 2011

Employee Use Demands Mobile Device Management

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The virtualization of today’s workforce is driving the increased use of mobile devices to access corporate networks, browse the Web and conduct critical communications. With this increase in mobility, it is imperative that the corporate communications manager implement a mobile device management strategy.

This recent Search Networking piece in Tech Target (News - Alert) is focused on the increasing need for mobile device management as the number of employees who are bringing their own devices to the workplace continues to grow at a rapid pace. These growing demands are shining a light on policies for the wireless LAN, mobility and network access control. 

Jared Griffith, CTO of Cinergy Wi-Fi, a Utah-based systems integrator that partners with wireless LAN vendors Ruckus Wireless and Aerohive (News - Alert), told Tech Target that over the last year the bring your own device phenomenon has truly skyrocketed. Requests are now streaming in from users who are bringing devices to the network so quickly that the corporation cannot afford to fully support them, introducing a new dynamic to mobile device management. 

With bring your own device (BYOD) programs, companies can actually lower their mobility costs, while also enabling employees to be more flexible and more productive. The key is to implement mobile device management strategies that actually support such initiatives. Employees for the state of West Virginia are finding out how useful such a strategy can be for their own environment. 

According to Kyle Schafer, CTO for the state of West Virginia, it is very costly to purchase the smartphones and other devices employees are bringing to work. There are also some employees that already have two devices, simply because they are not allowed to use their state device for personal use. By deploying a mobile device management strategy that allows them to bring in their own device, this limitation is eliminated and flexibility is greatly increased. 

To support a BYOD environment, the corporation or small business needs to implement a mobile device management strategy that allows for the building of a stable and secure network to support such devices. This can be a challenge as users may access different applications or platforms with their devices, some of which can use considerable bandwidth. 

The goal of the mobile device management strategy is to protect mission-critical applications, which can be enabled through wireless LAN engineering. The network must be built based on the applications that are going to be on the network and not for coverage. If the network is built for coverage, it can immediately slow down when too many devices are added, even risking a complete network crash. 

Allowing employees to bring their own devices can be an appropriate approach to mobile device management, as long as you have the right network, controls and policies in place. Make sure your employees understand what is acceptable and what could limit their freedom on the network. Be willing to adapt and change over time as the technology continues to improve and your users will continue to explore additional options.

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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